If a scar is a healed wound, a wound that the body miraculously saved and restored – then in a sense the entire body of Christ that suffered the ultimate wound of death but was saved and restored is that of a scar. He is worshiped, says Revelation (5: 6), in the form of a “lamb that looks like it has been killed.” Perhaps our scars, so often a source of shame and regret, are the truest indications of the full form of our resurrection bodies.
These observations agree with those of Saint Augustine, who speculated that we will see in the bodies of the martyrs the marks of the wounds they bore for the name of Christ, “because there will be in them not a deformity but a dignity; and a certain kind of beauty will shine in them. “
Philip Yancey replied to my question about why the glorified body of Jesus would be disfigured by scars: “The restrained wounds of Jesus are a visual evidence.” Mr. Yancey, on his books “What is so amazing about Grace?” and “The Jesus I Never Knew,” added:
He could have had a perfect body or no body when he returned to the splendor in heaven. Instead, he remembered his visit to Earth, and chose Scars as a memento of his time here. The pain of mankind became the pain of God.
Meanwhile, answers that had escaped me have come into focus. “The fact that the wounds of Jesus can also be seen in his resurrected body underscores that the suffering love that led Jesus to a cross and wore a crown of thorns is part of God’s eternal redeeming love for humanity,” said Mark Labberton, President of the Fuller Theological Seminary, told me. “The scars are evidence of God’s suffering, the risen hope.”
In addition, said Dr. Labberton, the fact that the traces of Jesus’ wounds are not simply wiped away allows us “to give meaning to our losses and to give meaning to our lives”. In other words, an essential part of what happened to Jesus should not be forgotten in eternity either – it cannot be forgotten.
In this way, according to Dr. Labberton of the situation of victims of trauma. To recover, they shouldn’t be told to forget about their trauma. They need to find ways to re-contextualize them and integrate them into their life stories. It’s part of their story never to be downplayed, but there is no need to define who they are in the long run. “The wounds of Jesus are not the last word,” said Dr. Labberton, “but they are meaningful.”
Or, as Cherie Harder told me, “Healing requires seeing.”
Scott Dudley, senior pastor of Bellevue Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, Washington, told me that when he advises or mentors others, “My wounds are often the most helpful thing I bring.” He added, “All the important things about pastoring , I did not learn in the seminar. ” He learned through the pain of personal loss that will never completely fade. “Wounded people are the best healers because they know what it is to be wounded,” said Dr. Dudley. “I’m a better healer, not in spite of my wounds, but because of my wounds.”
“All we can say sometimes is our wounds. This is another reason Jesus remembered his, ”he added. His point is not that Jesus’ wounds were faults; They are wounds that have left scars and it is of great help to us not to hide them from us.
This suggests one of the most important human (and divine) traits: empathy. “If Jesus showed us his scars after his resurrection, perhaps we can learn to incorporate pain and suffering into our lives in a way that frees us from wasting energy that we have devoted to denial and shame,” it said Peggy Wehmeyer, a former religion correspondent for ABC News, told me. She knows what she’s talking about after writing poignantly on these pages about her husband’s suicide in 2008.